Wyhoon makes it three from three

by Sean Henshelwood

Monday, July 18th 2011, 14:03 GMT+10:00
Australia


Kumho Tyres V8 Touring Car veteran Terry Wyhoon had an almost perfect weekend at Eastern Creek during round four of the Shannons Nationals presented by Hi-Tec Oils, and whilst the result put him to the top of the championship scoreboard, it was rising star Justin Garioch who stole much of today's limelight.

Wyhoon makes it three from three, as Garioch stars..
Rnd#3, Kumho Tyres V8 Touring Car Series
Eastern Creek, NSW (July 14-17)

Kumho Tyres V8 Touring Car veteran Terry Wyhoon had an almost perfect weekend at Eastern Creek during round four of the Shannons Nationals presented by Hi-Tec Oils, and whilst the result put him to the top of the championship scoreboard, it was rising star Justin Garioch who stole much of today’s limelight.

Courtesy of his race one win yesterday, Wyhoon (Lubrimaxx BA Falcon) sat on pole for race two, with Jim Pollicina (Poll Performance VY Commodore) alongside.

Pollicina got a lightning start, so good that he was judged to have gone before the light’s had gone out, the Holden pilot bolting off the line. In the end, video proof suggested that Pollicina had made the most of a start that saw Wyhoon bog down slightly, but with a drive-through penalty the result, Pollicina’s race was all but over.

Behind the front row, Chris Smerdon (Lubrimaxx BA Falcon) got a strong start, but so too Matt Hansen (Australian Custom Moulders VY Commodore), the Holden pilot firing into turn one inside Wyhoon, but he backed out despite holding track position.

“I saw him coming and moved over, but then I got a call that he’d gone,” Wyhoon admitted afterwards, “so I moved across and went for broke.”

Chris Smerdon ultimately inherited third, and became very wide as he battled to find the perfect setup for his ex-SBR Falcon. As ‘team-mate’ Wyhoon bolted away with Hansen in tow, Smerdon kept fastest qualifier Justin Garioch (Valley Longwall International/Hi-Tec Oils BA Falcon) at bay, but ultimately the young Falcon pilot got through leaving younger brother Nathan to battle with the experienced former champion behind.

Matt Hansen’s solid run too was thwarted late in the race after miss-shifting to top hear as he ran onto the front straight allowing Smerdon and Nathan Garioch (Valley Longwall International/Hi-Tec Oils BA Falcon)   through.

Once clear of Smerdon, Justin Garioch set out after Wyhoon, and hauled the Victorian in, crossing the line three seconds in arrears, with Smerdon hanging on for third.

“That was good,” Wyhoon grinned post-race, “we’ve just got to keep it up.”

And keep it up he did, storming away from the start of race three to lead comfortably into turn two as Smerdon again jumped into second, forcing Justin Garioch back to third and defending from Hansen.

Justin Garioch was clearly the fastest car on the circuit and as Wyhoon again jumped away, Garioch was forced to push Smerdon as hard as he could to find a way past, looking up the inside on the run into turn two, but Smerdon was wise to the move, but ultimately Garioch prevailed taking the veteran up the inside at turn one on lap three.

He then set out in pursuit of Wyhoon and hauled the former NASCAR champion in, catching him but unable to find a way past.

His final run at the lead was out of the final corner, the Queenslander pulling alongside Wyhoon but unable to get past before the line – the difference at the line – nine one hundredths of a second..

“I really needed that,” Wyhoon admitted post-race, unaware that the result had given him the championship lead (by one point over Smerdon), “but full credit to Justin, if Chris hadn’t held him up, I’m not sure I could have kept him behind me.

“Early in the race I could see Chris behind me, so I felt he had my back,” Terry laughed. “I’m happy we won, now the next step will be to get all three team drivers in the results (including Mark Shepherd and Michael Hector) as they had a mixed weekend.”

Justin Garioch was the star of the weekend with second, his best result of the season, with Smerdon recovering for third.

Coming into the round Scott Loadsman looked to be a threat to the Falcon drivers title aspirations, but he suffered dramas with an off on the opening lap of race one, recovered for race two, but stalled on the grid for race three. “I haven’t done that before,” he admitted post-race. “That messed the weekend up completely because I was always coming from rear of field, very disappointing..”

Wyhoon’s result rockets him back into the points lead on 308, from Smerdon (307), Loadsman (283), Justin Garioch (223), Michael Bartsch (187), Pollicina (177), Nathan Garioch (163), Hansen (129), Shepherd (117) and Stephen Voight (16).




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